Ovalhouse 2019 – The Demolition Party


we started planning the end of oval
house and it’s Kennington home about two years ago and in our first thoughts
there was a and ideas a discussion around sort of greatest hits the idea of
bringing back artists from past years and the more we thought about that were
the more we realize that the past being reverential wasn’t really what over the
house is about oval house has always been about the brand new about just
telling stories that are really urgent that need to be told right now by brand
new artists who have really exciting things to say and we set out from the
very beginning to say that one of the anybody working on this project was
gonna be treated as an artist so all of the structural engineers would be
treated in exactly the same way that we would treat another artist and that’s
been fantastic I mean the kind of creative input from somebody like Allan
Dunsmore who is the structural engineer working on the project right
from the beginning he wanted to understand what the ideas of the project
were how he could service those ideas when an artist proposed something that
they would like to destroy within the building he’d come back with another
about how that could be done coming up with really inventive solutions which is
part and parcel of have an article we were involved as the structural
engineers for the new build for oval house theatre in Brixton
and through that we heard about the contact theatres contacted me and asked
that we could get involved in the demolition party and that sounded
interesting and to get involved with the artists as well and so we it was
basically a phone call that said you wanted would you like to come down for a
chat about the plans for the old theater and what we’re planning to do to you
know finish off the performance he’s there and bring the theater to an end as
it were and it’s also there were the history of radicalism of breaking new
ground and once we started our thinking around that actually the idea of
breaking new ground and that thought of what would be the most exciting way we
could end this building and we came up with the idea of the demolition party
the idea we would actually destroy this building through performance we’d take
advantage of the fact that this is a one-time opportunity a time when a theatre
that we no longer needed there was no longer really fit for
purpose could be destroyed through our and it also fed into the the themes that
we were extremely excited by the idea that the destruction is a creative act
and that idea things have to be destroyed in order for new things to
grow hi hi… I’m Greg Woehead I’m Rachel Mars… and we are gaping hole … no we should be
serious we applied for the demolition party commission because we both worked
here like over the past off I’ve worked it the past honor the past
ten years but we made a show here four years ago cause Story number one and it
just felt like a good thing to like return just before the building was
going to be pulled down and it’s rare that you get the offer to destroy a
theater as part of your show and so it was a very particular yeah like a
particular offer that I think we were seduced by it’s been a really
interesting challenge I would say because you envision what
that’s gonna be like – like demolish a building and in your mind it’s very
dramatic and without knowing logistically ourselves what it actually
takes construction wise or to you know maintain the structural integrity of the
building we have no way of knowing exactly what that means so it has been a
process of a lot of like back and forth between what our ideal version of it is
versus what is actually doable and continuing to have that conversation and
then in the end just doing the demolition that is possible and then
making the show around that yeah and the so the show is called gaping hole and
it’s there’s some stuff in it that’s about plot holes the ideas that our
collaboration making these is making is about making these pieces of work that
are exploring narrative and the radical possibilities of narrative so for this
one we’re kind of centering on the idea of plot holes so with this space we
thought that obviously that that idea really came about responding to a brief
of like making holes in the building and what could we do with that so in a way
you know we didn’t had come up with the idea in response to the space or our
idea of what could happen in the space and the demolition and then we also had
to then really throw out a lot of the idea what when the realities of what was
possible in the space became clear

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